This is a list of the sixteen counties in the U.S. state of Maine. Before statehood, Maine was officially part of the state of Massachusetts and was called the District of Maine. Maine was granted statehood on March 15, 1820 as part of the Missouri Compromise. Nine of the sixteen counties had their borders defined while Maine was still part of Massachusetts, and hence are older than the state itself. Even after 1820, the exact location of the northern border of Maine was disputed with Britain, until the question was settled and the northern counties took their final, official form by treaty in 1845. Almost all of Aroostook County was disputed land until the treaty was signed.
No new counties have been created since 1860, when Knox County and Sagadahoc County were created. The most populous counties tend to be located in the southwestern portion of the state, along the Atlantic seaboard. The largest counties in terms of land area are inland. Maine's county names derive from a mix of British, American, and Native American sources, reflecting Maine's pre-colonial, colonial, and national heritage.
The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code, which is used by the United States government to uniquely identify states and counties, is provided with each entry. Maine's code is 23, which when combined with any county code would be written as 23XXX. The FIPS code for each county links to census data for that county.
A song is taught to many elementary school children across the state, entitled the Maine County Song, to aid in memorizing the names of the state's 16 counties. It is sung to the tune of Yankee Doodle.
Sixteen counties has our state
Cumberland and Franklin
Piscataquis and Kennebec
Waldo, Washington, and York
Lincoln, Knox, and Hancock
Sagadahoc and Somerset
Aroostook and Penobscot
An alternate version as put forth by the Maine Secretary of State's Kids' Page:
The sixteen counties in our state
Are Cumberland and Franklin
Piscataquis and Somerset
Sagadahoc and Kennebec
Lincoln, Knox and Hancock
Waldo, Washington and York
Oxford and Penobscot
However the traditional version is:
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